The Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah has called on the Embassy of Israel based in Kenya to ease visa restrictions for Ugandans seeking to travel to Israel for study and tourism purposes among other things.
The Deputy Speaker said that many Ugandans are eager to go to Israel and thus making it easy for them to access the Holy Land would additionally promote Israel’s tourism potential.
“Our visa conditions sometimes are difficult because one has to keep getting a visa before they go to Israel. We need a move from the Embassy in Kenya for a reciprocal arrangement for Ugandans to make it to Israel,” said Oulanyah.
He hinted on the no-visa policy accorded to Malawi by Israel that followed former Malawi President, Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s directive not to cut ties with Israel despite international pressure at the time.
Oulanyah said this while meeting the the Deputy Ambassador of Israel to Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles and Malawi , Eyal Davidwho paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Speaker and MPs on Wednesday, 12 December 2018.
Oulanyah also reiterated MPs appreciation of Israel’s technological advancement in agricultural management which he said Ugandan farmers could emulate so as to improve on their farm yields even during dry seasons.
“You have pioneered water use and water management. In Uganda, we have not yet mastered how to make the dry and rainy seasons complement each other. Our farmers can learn how to perfect this through exchange visits,” Oulanyah said.
He also complimented Israel’s impressive growth indicators which he noted as standing at US$ 350 billion, something he said Uganda can pick from to grow its current GDP that stands at US$25.8 billion.
“I spoke with a coordinator of the kibbutz agricultural system on my last visit to Israel and I interested him on teaching our people in Uganda how to set up such systems that can commercialize our agriculture,” added Oulanyah.
The new Deputy Ambassador on his part appreciated the good relations between Uganda and Israel said that several Israeli Non-Governmental Organizations had set up base to serve in different regions of the country.
“I had a meeting with the Health Minister to discuss one of our flagship projects based in Kiboga where we opened a diabetes clinic. We are collaborating with the ministry to spread the initiative all-over Uganda,” Eyal said.
Eyal also reminisced Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2016 visit to Uganda, which he says affirmed the two countries’ ties in many aspects particularly agriculture where over 220 students are sent annually to Israel to get apprenticeship and training.
The meeting was attended by the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon. Betty Aol Ocan, Hon. Francis Gonahasa (FDC, Kabweri County), Hon. Anne Mary Tumwine (NRM, Ntoroko County), Hon. Everlyn Chemutai (NRM, Bukwo) and Hon. Denis Obua (NRM, Ajuri County).